Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The List

We have been getting ready for "vacation" for about 6 months.  The Internet has been consulted, downloaded, printed and placed neatly in a binder with appropriate headings, directions and places reserved for the nights ahead.  Money has been counted, recounted, accounted and accounted for.  Lists have been made, remade and finalized.  I am a list maker by nature so everything is on a "list".  I have a lot of lists, a To Do List, a Have Done List, a Packing List, a Meds List, a Things for Jonny To Do in the Car List, a Things We Must See List, a Places We Must Go List, you name it and I have a list it will be on somewhere neatly recorded and entered into my "Bucket List Vacation Binder". 

Clothing has been neatly folded and piled in the appropriate rooms so I can stack them into suitcases, emergency kits have been standing by, snack baskets with the appropriate snacks for travelers await us.  DVD's have been carefully selected for Jonathon (our grandson) so he can insert them into the pre-charged portable DVD player.  Journals, postcard stamps, paper clips and any other small items we may need have been stowed in of course their appropriate places. 

The countdown has started 2 days to our 5am departure in the family SUV.  Did we get the keys made for the house/pet sitters?  Oh shoot! Better run down this afternoon and do that, heck its Saturday so might as well check out some of the local garage sales for anything last minute we might need. 

Checked out a few garage sales with no purchases, ran to the hardware store and had keys made.  Thinking on the way home that there was one more garage sale on the way. 

I hear my husband say, "OH NO!" , I feel the car brake, I feel the car swerve.  I look up to see a flash of blue and a loud bang followed by another loud bang, screeching tires, my head makes hard contact with the window and I am thrown violently to the left.  I think, "I'm still conscious! I'm not dead!"

I look at my husband and it's like a weird movie.  He is gripping the wheel hard and the car starts to tip, I'm thinking, " No way, its not going to roll its just tipping a bit".  The car rolls over on its side in a ditch.  I hear the window breaking.  I'm thinking,"Wait, we have to go on vacation- this cannot happen!" 

Everything is silent but the engine is running.  I hear people but can't see them, only their feet from my position, which happens to be nearly upside down. Nothing is supporting me but the seat belt.  I hear my husband say, "Are you alright?"  It's then that I realize I am in a lot of pain, my head is screaming, my back and neck are screaming and suddenly I realise I am also screaming!  I'm screaming, " Someone please help us! We can't get out!  Please help us get out!"  My husband is telling me he is bleeding badly, I am trying to help him but I can't reach him and now I am trying to hold myself up with my right hand into a crack where the door used to fit.  I tell him I think we just messed up our vacation.    I can't breath very well from my weight being restrained by the seat belt across my chest.  I am calling to someone to help my husband--he's bleeding badly. 

I see people's feet and legs standing around the car.  I see a man put a cigarette into his mouth and my husband started yelling for him not to light the cigarette, the man seemed to be ignoring him and my husband screamed at him.  The man got mad and said he wasn't going to light it.  How could we know that?  Someone else was saying things to sooth the man's ruffled feelings, I kept thinking what was going on?  Why isn't anyone trying to sooth our ruffled feelings?  I close my eyes and whisper, " Heavenly Father, help Jack and I to get through this, watch over us and the people in the other car, in Jesus Name AMEN".

I hear sirens, soon I see the yellow covered legs of the paramedics and firemen.  Suddenly a fireman is behind me and putting his arms around me, he says, "My name is Tony, I'm going to take care of you".  It was the sweetest sound I heard that day.  I said Tony my husband is bleeding badly, I'm scared and I can't breath very well, I told him my medical issues.  Someone handed a towel in through the broken front window and I reached for it and handed it to my husband.  He wrapped it around his arm.  Tony put an oxygen mask on me and suddenly I could breath again.  

I see the Jaws of Life cutting the side of the front window frame right above me and I am afraid that when its cut the roof will collapse on us.  I am trying to shield my husband who is below me.  Suddenly the seat releases and I fall back into the arms of Tony who not only catches me but has me on a board and pulled out the back of the car.  The cool air outside the car is a relief.  I am quickly put on a back board, questioned about my injuries and rushed inside an ambulance.  

I am asking where is my husband?  Did you get him out? Is he ok?  They are not talking to me about that.  I ask where are the other people are they ok?  No one is talking.  Instead they are telling me they are starting a "line" and I will feel a big pinch.  I don't feel anything, I am too busy looking for my husband.  Suddenly there he is. His arm is already wrapped.  They are talking about who is going where.  I am confused because I thought we were going on vacation.  The hospital, oh yeah that.  I think I am fine just a headache, backache not much else.  I'm pretty tough but I know my husband is bleeding.  

I'm hearing talk about "airlifts" and ambulances.  I realize then that my husband must be really bad even though he is now joking and laughing with the attendants.  That's how he deals with crisis.  Everybody deals with crisis differently.  I know that, I used to be a 911 operator. 
Then I hear that they will take him to the hospital in an ambulance and I will be airlifted.  I thought that was strange and said to them that we should go together wherever we were going.  They said there wasn't enough room for both of us at that hospital so they had to send us all to different places.  

I close my eyes and prayed, " Thank you Lord for keeping us safe, we don't deserve your love and kindness but I know you love us no matter what".  Please watch over us while we are apart and please protect the other people too." AMEN.  

I feel the ambulance drive on uneven ground and the paramedic pulls me out of the ambulance.  He leaned over and said that I should keep my eyes closed.  I was going in the helicopter to the hospital because of my head injury.  I told him I didn't have a head injury, I just bumped my head on the window.  No blood.  He said just to keep my eyes closed until I was told to open them.  OK . 

I hear all the sounds of the blades, the engine, people,but I kept my eyes closed.  Then I feel the board sliding smoothly and for just a second I opened my eyes and all I can see is what looks like quilted white material.  I slammed my eyes closed.  the inside of a coffin.  That's what it looked like. I felt more sliding and I opened my eyes to see a woman taking off a helmet and swinging her beautiful hair away from her face.  I see a man on the other side of me closing a door and sitting down.  I am thinking how thin they must be to fit inside this very small area with all this "stuff" .  They talk to me, but I can't hear them because of all the noise.  

The man leans down and says he's going to start another IV in my other hand , OK?  I am wondering what if I say no? But I don't.  He puts oxygen on me and starts the IV.  The ride is rough but he does it swiftly and gently, I hardly felt it.  I am thinking this whole time that I'm am going to feel so stupid when they find out all this fuss is for nothing.  

It's taking a very long time to get to the hospital that I thought would be a 5 minute ride to.  We finally arrive and they are pulling me through a "tube" (the coffin) and we go down the sidewalk to a building.  I see the ceiling and the elevator and ask where are we?  Doctors Hospital in Modesto, they said.  I am thinking, "oh crap, how will I get home from here?"  

Suddenly we are inside and people are everywhere, someone tells me she is the Dr. and not to worry.  Someone else tells me she is the trauma nurse and sorry but we have to cut your clothes off but don't worry.  I guess it's not a time to be concerned with modesty.  I am jabbed, poked and prodded.  It hurts, it doesn't hurt and it screams hurt.  I am loaded up again and taken to a CT scanner.  A very nice man who speaks very gently and kindly tells me everything that is going to happen.  

He tells me he is going to take about 2000 pictures, he tells me he is going to inject contrast material and I might feel warm, I might feel like I am going to wet my pants but I won't.  I don't tell him how I really do need to use the lavatory. I do tell him that I am sure I am fine, I just need a nap because I am so tired.  

We go back upstairs and everyone is gone now.  Just a nurse named Stephanie.  She helps me go to the lavatory in a commode next to the bed.  I feel, for the first time I can relax a little.  I find myself talking to God again," Father please be with Jack, I don't know what is happening with him".  The doctor comes back in and has a young man with her. I see he is wearing a tee shirt and shorts.  They look like undershorts.  She says he is the Neurosurgeon, she says she has news for me and doesn't want me to get scared.  Now I am.  She says I have bleeding on my brain, on both sides.  He says one side is where I hit the window, the other side is either my brain hitting my skull or  my skull hitting something else.  OH CRAP.  I don't feel like I am bleeding. 

He tells me its a small bleed and hopefully it will resolve itself.  I have to stay at least overnight.  They will re scan in the morning and if the bleed has stopped I can go home.  I am speechless.  Didn't expect that.

The nurse comes in and hands me a cell phone.  It's my husband. 
He is ok he says.  He had 65 stitches and is good as new.  He is being sent home.  He says he is in a lot of pain.  I can imagine.  I am thinking how to tell him what the Dr said.  I say," I have a bruise on my brain so I have to stay for observation."  He wants to come and I say no.  Go home, get some rest.  We say we love each other and hang up.

My son shows up and buys me a soda.  And a cookie.  I used to give him a cookie when he was a child and had an "owie".  I send him home.

Sometime later I get a room and am properly tucked in.  Its about 12:30 am, I am beat but still have to tell them all the details, meds, etc.  They have to do skin checks in case they missed something in ER.  Finally I am left alone.

Time to talk to God again.  I tell Him I am really disappointed about the vacation.  I am happy though that He took such good care of us.  I am happy I am His Child , it brings me to tears how fortunate I am to have my precious Savior right there to watch over me and Jack.  

I am home now and making plans for a shorter vacation as soon as we can get another car.  I am still in pain, lots of pain but I am getting through it.  Jack is healing but also still in pain.  We have a lot of work to do with the insurance issues and all the reservations being cancelled and family notified that we will come when we can but that might not happen either.  They understand.  

I believe God has a plan for us and we will see what it is.  If we are able to go on vacation we will go.  If not we will save our Bucket List for next year.  I will have a whole year to make lists to my hearts' delight.

I praise God for He is so good to me, without Him it could have been so much the worse for us all.  I praise God for being number one on all my lists.  We never left home without HIM!